This article originally appeared on the ACLU blog on April 10, 2019.
Adree Edmo is a transgender woman who is a prisoner in the Idaho Department of Correction. Experts have determined it is medically necessary for her to receive gender confirmation surgery. IDOC refuses to provide her with this medically necessary surgergy. Ms. Edmo filed a federal lawsuit against IDOC and Corizon, the private corporation providing health services to Idaho prisoners. In November 2018, a district court judge ruled in Ms. Edmo’s favor and ordered IDOC to provide Ms. Edmo with gender confirmation surgery by the summer of 2019. IDOC and Corizon appealed that decision, claiming the court used the wrong legal procedure in coming to its ruling in favor of Ms. Edmo.
The ACLU of Idaho joined ACLU’s National Prison Project and LGBT Project, along with law firm Walden Macht & Haran LLP, to represent correction officials in filing a brief of amici curiae in support of Ms. Edmo’s lawsuit. An amicus brief is a legal document filed by a non-party in the litigation to provide the court with additional information, expertise, or insight on issues important in the case. In this amicus brief, former corrections officials explain that all corrections officials must attend to the serious medical needs of all prisoners, including transgender prisoners. Additionally, a prisoner’s disciplinary history does not provide a basis to deny medical treatment. For instance, whether a diabetic prisoner should receive insulin should not depend on their disciplinary history. Finally, providing medically necessary care to prisoners benefits correctional facilities because doing so avoids costly litigation, prevents prisoners from seeking alternative measures, or mentally and emotionally deteriorating.
The lawsuit is currently on appeal at the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Molly Kafka, Ritchie Eppink, Gabriel Arkles, Jennifer Wedekind, Amy Fittig, Timothy Macht, Devon Little, Derek Borchadt
PRO BONO LAW FIRM(S)
Walden Macht & Haran LLP
APRIL 10, 2019
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
19-35017 and 19-35019